My past, how my boss screwed me and where I am today

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself' started by Emerscape, Aug 17, 2005.

  1. Emerscape

    Emerscape LawnSite Member
    Messages: 157

    I originally got into landscaping when I was a little kid growing up on my grandfathers farm in Litchfield County Connecticut.. I spent the summers with my brothers mowing the estate and fields as well as tending the production of potatos, corn etc..

    When I went off to college I came home and started working for a high end residential landscaping firm in Kent CT known as Kent Horticultural Services or Kent Greenhouse. At this company I quickly became a foreman and enjoyed the ability to work for clientel who had an endless supply of imagination and money.. The summer after I graduated college I decieded to go back to Kent Greenhouse to have one more summer of fun before I moved out to Jackson Hole Wyoming for a year to go skiing and then back to get my MBA... That summer I unfortunately herniated a disk on a job for Kent Greenhouse and my summer (as well as these past two years) was cut short by the injury.. I was forced to sell my ski boat, cancel my move to jackson hole and ended up moving to Boston to be closer to my girlfriend.... After moving to boston I worked as an accountant for a year but decieded I could no longer sit in a cubicle everyday...

    I was offered a job by my girlfriends uncle what ran a landscape construction and general contracting company on the south shore. IT was a great opportunity as I was hired as the Operations manager and was in charge of all jobs and crews. What i thought would be a great opportunity soon turned into a disaster.. Two weeks into the job, my first paycheck, he came up short telling all his employees that he didnt have enough money to pay us (something that hes been doing for years apperently) meanwhile a new hot tub was being offloaded at his house. I gave him the benefit of the doubt and continued to work hard for him.. I educated his crews on the proper way to plant and install walkways and also developed more efficient ways of working. THe saga continued as every week he would pay me a little hre and a little there.. promising that he would get us all back on payroll. None of the money he gave us was taxed but he continued to promise they would establish payrol.... It continued through the fall where we worked the usual 60 -70 hr weeks. I was faced with crews who would not finish jobs because of money but ended up finishing out of respect for me... THis pattern continued.. he would eventually pay up but then quickly fall behind in the weeks later... This winter came.. our 40 something crew of snowshovelers quickly grew tired of his cheap ways and often walked off the job while i recieved the blame for not getting jobs done... His payroll grew and grew, at one point owing me more than 12k. (did i mention he doesnt pay overtime to his crews.. At one point I met with him and threatened to call the department of labor ..... oh and then he 1099'd me..

    As 2005 started he changed things around. quickbooks was updated and we installed a swipping system that automatically clocked our hours. I recieved a paycheck every week and we continued working our asses off.. sometimes working 29 hours straight (we mulched an entire mall by hand in 29 hours) often with nothing but a thanks.. Always promised bonuses but never recieveing anything.. I offered to help him grow his business by adding another dump truck to the fleet. He never invested money into his company but instead took trips to florida or bought $1500 digital cameras (a man that didnt know how to turn the computer on)... He agreed and I wrote a legal contract regarding my truck and how it was to be leased to him.. He gave me the verbal on it and i went ahead and bought a 1999 f450 dump for around 24k.... the truck began working immediately after purchase and two weeks after the purchase he still hadnt signed the ocntract.. even though he said he had to have his accountant look at it... i knew something was getting shady.. The week after 4th of july I came back to work... it rained so we didnt work but i decieded to stop by the office anyway.. all the other crews were out working... i came in for my check that friday and the woman in the office told me to sit down... she said they were letting me go.....I couldnt believe it... i almost fired up the loader and bulldozed his house i was so pissed..... (meanwhile his niece, my girlfriend had lost her job a month before and he knew of our financial hardship) but he didnt care.. he couldnt understand spending $20 an hour on a person who operated all the machinery, managed all the jobs and saved his ass time after time.....a man who often thought of me as his son... and I as a person who he could call (and did) at anytime and want them to be down for work.

    So anyway my girlfriend and I started our own company called Emerscape and we ve been at it ever since.. THings have been slow and both of us have been looking for other jobs but we enjoy working together. Id like to see things grow and I know its the slow time of year.. But just becarefull for those people you think you can trust... eventually theyll turn on you. Oh and by the way becaue he 1099 me Ive attempted to purchase a house... the mortgage company wants two years of W2's but as a result my rates will be hirer.. and my unemployment benefits will only last half of what they would.... what an *******.
  2. Brianslawn

    Brianslawn LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,002

    good luck! your old boss sounds like some of my old employees!
  3. MLI

    MLI LawnSite Senior Member
    from Ma
    Messages: 464

    If your workload slows down.....give me a call....I can always use help. Im in Weymouth! 781 337 3571 :waving:
  4. Toy2

    Toy2 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,924

    What goes around, comes me on that one, I also trusted someone, left one great job to help this pot smoking fool create his dream company.......trusted him as well....little did I know the mom and Uncle who worked there were into drugs big my 50k job went bye-bye the first of this I making it, yes, not getting rich, but I'm will do fine....enjoy!!! :)
  5. Emerscape

    Emerscape LawnSite Member
    Messages: 157

    hey guys thanks for the feedback.. Yeah I know that what comes around goes around and I can't wait for it to come around for him.. Its not fair to all of us that try to run an honest and legal business while he's out lowballing people and doing shoddy work... any..MLI I sent you a pm.. thanks

    M RASCOE&SONS LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,475

    no matter what dont give up and keep on diggin and it will pay off in the long run,not overnight but it will happen..good luck
  7. rbriggs

    rbriggs LawnSite Member
    Messages: 106

    Don't give up. Be honest and fair.....and treat your customers AND EMPLOYEES like a true asset, and your company will go fair. Build the client base and the rest will fall into place. One thing that is very important to me in my company is business mentors. You need to find someone in your field (and other fields) who are willing to be a mentor to you and help you along the way with the big and little details. This will prove to be invaluable to you! Good luck. Drop me a PM, as I am also in massachusetts.
  8. Emerscape

    Emerscape LawnSite Member
    Messages: 157

    I'd like to thank everyon for thier support and responding to my post. I would like to give a little update as to where I am now and whats been going on. Ive been out on my own for about 4 months now and it has been a great experience. Unfortunately due to the fact that my girlfriend and I both had lost our jobs the financial stress it put on us was intense and unfortunately things werent as golden as the could have possibly been. The good news is that about a month ago I was offered a job working for a prestigous forensic accounting firm in downtown boston. I am now a staff accountant for the firm and enjoy my job immensly. I do however try to keep my landscape business going by doing work on the side and planning on having my trucks out plowing this winter. The decision to go back in the corporate field was hard but greatly influenced by some physical problems. At the ripe age of 24 I have a herniated disk in my back and recently diagnosed with severe arthritis in my knees.. But all said and done I greatly appreciate the help and support that you guys have given to me. Best of luck to you all and Im sure I will see you around lawnsite.
  9. Jamesgateslandscaping

    Jamesgateslandscaping LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 421

    I feel your pain dude, at the age of 19, I have chronic knee pain and back pain from injuries while playing lacrosse. I have fortunatly have a great crew of guys that work very hard to help me when Im hurting. Its unfair that you work your ass off and get nothing for it. If you treat your employees right, they will do the same for you. I pay my guys every two weeks and they recieve a very nice bonus at the end of the season with a VERY nice Carhartt sweatshirt:cool: . It hurts me to see owner treat their guys like crap, its just unfair. Oh, by the way, Im looking for a full time employee for next year to take care of things while at college.
  10. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 21,652

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